BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Haiku and the brain: an exploratory study

    Pierides, S. and Muller, Hermann J. and Kacian, J. and Günther, F. and Geyer, T. (2017) Haiku and the brain: an exploratory study. Juxtapositions: The Journal of Haiku Research and Scholarship 3 (1), ISSN 2378-6566.

    [img]
    Preview
    Text
    Haiku and the Brain_Juxta_2017.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (985kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    This paper presents the first results of an interdisciplinary project, bringing together haiku poets and neuro-/cognitive scientists, to investigate the reading of English-language haiku (ELH) as a potentially paradigmatic material for studying the reception of poetic texts. Our pilot study was based on the ‘eye-mind assumption’, that where and for how long we gaze at sections of text reflects processes of information harvesting for meaning construction. The results indicate that the interactive process between the poem and the reader gives rise to characteristic patterns of eye movements (saccades and fixations) across the text from which (i) the position of the cut (after line 1 vs. after line 2) and (ii) the type of haiku (context-action vs. juxtaposition) can be discerned. Finding (i) is of special importance: it provides evidence that the effect intended by the poet can indeed be traced in oculomotor behavior and that, thus, the cut is indeed a potent poetic/stylistic device with a specific effect in the reader. Moreover, readers’ recognition memory was found to be associated with more explicit, conscious-recollective experience of having read a particular haiku if the poem was self-rated to be understood. This suggests that the realization of the haiku’s ‘meaning gestalt’ in the reader’s mind, which may be associated with an ‘aha’ experience, is important for memory consolidation and remembering. Albeit tentative, these findings and conclusions open up interesting lines for future, interdisciplinary research.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Hermann Muller
    Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 08:55
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2018 05:31
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/21618

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    167Downloads
    70Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item